September 2012 E-Zine (V11#9): Design Inspiration Sunday, Sep 9 2012 

Be careful if scaling (enlarging or reducing) graphics. You can have a very high quality graphic, but if you enlarge it 800% to fit your idea of the cover, it will generally loose focus and/or pixilated. The lower the quality, the less you can enlarge a graphic. As a rule, reduction is not a quality issue, unless it is shrunk so small that little or no detail is visible. Keep in mind, if using a photo quality, or other high quality computer printer to view your graphic print outs that production machines do not always match or exceed this high end, consumer quality – unless specifically commissioned.

Graphic files that are layered should be sent in their native format, as well as being flattened into a single layer, for original artwork. If sending PDF, be sure that the conversion “locks down” all fonts.

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This section is drawn from
http://www.gregathcompany.com/hb/color/coverdesign.html

September 2003, V2#9: Design Saturday, Jan 17 2009 

While crop for effect (as mentioned last month) is usually a little more expensive at most publishing houses, we perform this service to some extent, free of charge and the end result is much more gratifying. Our professionals will choose exactly where the half-tone should be cropped and/or enlarged/reduced at no additional charge to you.  After all, are you trying to show Uncle Ed or the yard he was standing in? Of course, there are times when the background IS the picture. We also receive instructions to enlarge or reduce to a specified size without cropping and it is physically impossible to comply, because without cropping, the size specified cannot be reached from the original without warping the outcome. Enlargement or reduction can only be done overall, not in only one direction. When we face such a problem, we use the largest dimension, and let the smaller fall where it may. [If 3″x5″ is specified, when we get to the 5″ measurement, the requested 3″ may be less than 3″.] If an author prefers total control over their sizing and cropping, this can also be done with us at an additional charge in-house or they can send exactly what they want and mark “same size originals” at no additional cost.

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This section is drawn from information online at http://www.gregathcompany.com/tips.html 

August 2003, V2#8: Design Sunday, Jan 11 2009 

We receive manuscripts, including pictures with the instructions “Do Not Cut Pictures”, every day. No printer that we know of would have any reason to cut your ORIGINAL pictures/submissions. In our printing process, a negative and a new print [known as a half-tone) must be made in order to be reproduced on an offset press. Many snapshots are of one or a few family members, with a whole lot of unnecessary background. Most of these pictures show very little, if any, detail of the subject. If they were enlarged and the half tone “cropped for effect”, the same size picture would show the subject(s) in much more detail.